Tag Archives: Living in France

Undiscovered Regions of France For Expats

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page  and follow the Twitter profile.

Undiscovered Regions of France For Expats. With some 150,000 Brits living in France it’s clear that the country is a big hit with those in the UK looking for a new place to live.

Popular with those who are retiring, as well as couples and families looking for a better quality of life, France can offer expats everything with the added bonus of not being too far away from home. British expats are usually attracted to certain areas and regions of France.

The name “Dordogneshire” is often bandied around to explain where Brits live in the South West of France although this is only part of the picture. Many also reside in the Ile De France region (which includes Paris), Brittany and Provence.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere a little different, away from the madding crowds of Brits, we’ve selected three regions where you might find the perfect taste of France.

Burgundy

Gr8ful Ted, Somewhere Along the Canal du Nivernais

The perfect spot if you like a tipple of the top wine, delicious cuisine and beautiful views, Burgundy is renowned for its historical hilltop villages and medieval locations. Situated in the east central region of France it is one of the most prestigious wine producing areas in the world. With a capital called Dijon it was also once the ‘mustard capital of the world’. Weather wise you’ll get lovely warm summers although temperatures will dip in the winter, and you can expect rain. With great transport links back to the UK the average house price is 120,000 Euros which will buy you a three bedroom house. Four bedrooms go from 137,000 Euros; five 156,00 Euros.

Champagne-Ardennes

Claude, Place Royale, Reims, Marne, Champagne-Ardennes, France

North East France produces some of the best sparkling wine in the world aka Champagne. Close to the Belgian border the area is not a huge hit with Brits as it’s not exactly the sunshine state, with just 1,500 hours of sun a year. This is in sharp contrast to those living in western regions where they might see 2,400 hours a year. That said, it’s very popular with Germans, Belgians and Swiss expats so it clearly has plenty to offer. The average house prices are expensive, around 214,000 Euros although you could be lucky enough to snap a property up for the minimum price of 60,000 Euros.

Lorraine

Pascal. Lechaudel,Les Maïs

You will find some British expats living in Lorraine region although only around 850, so you’re unlikely to bump into fellow citizens unless you really want to. Neighbouring the regions of Alsace and Burgundy, Lorraine is steeped in history and even able to stake claim to being the birthplace of Joan of Arc. It is the only area to border three countries – Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, so plenty of places to visit on the weekend. The Vosages mountains also offer the perfect spot for some winter ski-ing or summer hiking. There’s also a chance to bag a property bargain here with projects going for as little as 17,000 Euros. If you are considering moving to France,

PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Helping Your Children Make Friends Abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Igor Spasic, ocean is young

Igor Spasic, ocean is young

Moving home is exciting but it can also be quite daunting if you arrive in a new location without any friends or family to act as a support.  For children, the experience can be even more overwhelming, especially if they are older and have left lots of strong friendships behind.

As a parent you’ll bare the brunt of the upheaval and will need to arm yourself with some skills in order to help everyone settle in. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. Moving abroad is a big step and everyone will find it difficult, even those that really wanted to relocate. The great news is that children are on the whole are very adaptable. Give it time and it’s most likely that you will all feel settled.

Here a few suggestions for making the friendship transition abroad.

For younger children:

The younger the child, the easier it will be to find ways to help them make new friends, fairly quickly. Smaller children are more open to new friendships, having not left too many strong bonds behind. There are a huge array of options here for new mate bids. Children below school age could find friends at playgroups, parks or the various number of activities that youngsters can take part in. 

Ways to start:

* Find the nearest playgroup via neighbours with children and arrange a date to meet them there. It will be easier to turn up and spot a familiar face rather than find a sea of strangers.

* Look into activities that your child liked at home. If they enjoyed swimming or singing back home chances are they’ll enjoy the experience in your new environment.

For pre-teens:

Finding mates when you’re at school, may be easier, or harder than imagined. It will all depend upon how sociable your children are. Again encourage them to find clubs to join that reflect their current tastes and interests. They may find these options at school or you’ll have to research particular outlets.

Ways to start:

* See if your child wants to invite some of their new classmates around for an impromptu movie and popcorn evening. This will be a good way for you to meet the parents too.

* Set up a regular activity on a Saturday morning so your kids can meet friends outside of school. This will help if the Monday-Friday routine isn’t going so well.

For teenagers:

There’s a good chance that if you have a child between the ages of 13 and 19, you’ll find them the toughest to convince that moving was a good idea. They’ll have a whole list of reasons why staying at home was a better idea. It’s also one the hardest times for them in terms of friendship, with hormones and peer pressure, shaking the best of them. Again, they’ll need to pursue old interests and hopefully find some new ones. You could also encourage them to keep in contact with their old friends via social media.

Ways to start:

* Encourage them to leave the house and discover some new opportunities available to them. They may not have surfed before but if you find yourself on one of Australia’s hottest beaches it won’t hurt to find out if they can. Alternatively many ski resorts offer clubs for kids during the key season.

* Look out for other expats with kids of a similar age and see if you can arrange a shopping/beach/ski/basketball trip. Finding someone in exactly the same boat can really help. 

 

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Job Hunting In France: Careers Advice

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

 

Pedro Ribeiro Simões  Paris Old Metro Signboard  Paris, France

Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Paris Old Metro Signboard, Paris, France

Job hunting can be hard enough in your home country but looking for work at a new abode can seem utterly daunting. It’s often thought that career prospects aren’t easy for those moving to France, and it’s true much of your success will be dependent upon whether you can speak the language or not.

In order to get a high level job it would certainly be worth while brushing up on your language skills by taking a course before you set about looking for work. Language courses can be done online or at evening classes, where there are a number of options.

Unemployment rates are slowly falling in France but still the under 25s are those in the highest risk group. It should also be noted that much available work is flexible and not permanent. That said, the good news is that in some sectors there is indeed a skills shortage.

The French government recently listed those sectors currently and actively seeking recruits. They are as follows:  ICT professionals, Health professionals and veterinarians, Engineering professionals, Finance professionals and Legal professionals and legislators.

There is also a more interesting list noted by French employment agency Pole Emploi noted that the country is also looking for winegrowers, tree surgeons, waiters, restaurant workers and community workers. You’ll also be in luck if you can lend a hand as a rural farm worker.

The good news is that they also highlight the need for English speaking nannies, estate agents and those experienced in the travel sector. Indeed English speakers (although not necessarily those who can’t speak a word of French) could also find work in industries such as foreign embassies, major organisations including Unesco and Action Against Hunger. You could also take up more varied jobs such as tour guides or even red tape experts. The latter would certainly be helpful for others moving to the area.

Some 153,000 Brits are officially registered as living in France and many of those have interesting and exciting jobs. With a little preparation you could be one of them.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

A Restaurant Tour of Paris

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Cafeterías Nebraska, Croissant , Croissant relleno

Cafeterías Nebraska, Croissant , Croissant relleno

Eating out in one of the culinary capitals of the world should be a highlight of any trip to Paris. From haute cuisine to steak frites and the perfect croissant you’ll be spoilt for choice as to where to find the perfect meal, whatever the time of day.

Here we’ve pulled together information on some of the best restaurants, bistros and cafes the city of romance has to offer.

Three Star Michelin Restaurant:

Alan Ducasse Au Plazza Athenee offers luxury dining in luxury surroundings. You won’t find heavy meats with equally heavy sauces though. This is more fish, vegetables and cereals. All the food is seasonal and vegetables picked from a cottage garden. Cotentin lobster, lentil caviar, sea bass and white asparagus can all feature on the menu.It’s considered one of Paris’ dining highlights. For more information see here: www.alain-ducasse.com/en/restaurant/alain-ducasse-au-plaza-athenee

The One With The View:

Eating your supper from the vantage point of 400ft up the Eiffel Tower is a view afforded to anyone dining at Le Jules Verne. Choose from roasted sole, truffled macaroni au gratin or marinated sea bream with citrus. There’s also an ‘Experience Menu’ which allows you to sample five or six of the dishes. There are also 430 French wines to choose from, so you’ll be able to find something you like.

Reasonably Priced Traditional French Food:

La Cave de l’Os à Moelle has been heralded by Time Out magazine as the place to head to if you want to eat your way through traditional food, including ratatouille, fish soup, chicory and ham and tripe. All served as a ‘help yourself menu’ you can pick your way through your culinary highs. There is also a great cheese board and selection of delicious desserts.

New Kid On The Block:

For a less stuffy, but no less delicious experience head to Septime, which is run by chef Bertrand Grebaut, and has one Michellin star. The menu is changed every day in the restaurant which is more casual and distressed than similar establishments. Bookings are only available three weeks in advance so expect high levels of competition, for one of the hottest seats in Paris.

Worth Getting Up Early For:

No-one can leave Paris without sampling the best croissants the city has to offer. Having won two awards for their buttered croissants, 134 RDT is the place to head for the perfect breakfast. Their baguettes are also award-winning, if that’s your preference for first thing in the morning.

A Parisian Classic:

There’s only one name on everyone’s lips when debating the best steak-frites on offer in Paris. Le Relais de l’Entrecote  which has three bistrots across the city reliably serve tender sirloin steaks served with its famous sauce and thick cut French fries. Wash it down with one of their many organic wines.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Where in the world are you taxed most as an expat?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Numbers And Financewww.SeniorLiving.Org

Numbers And Financewww.SeniorLiving.Org

This is according to new research from the Molinari Institute. Each year the Institute works out each country’s Tax Liberation Day. This involves them assessing the tax, social charges and VAT each worker pays to the state compared to what they earn in average. They then work out how many days of that year it will take the person to pay it.

In France, it takes until the 29 July for each worker to pay their due, making them the highest taxers in Europe. The study found that in France 57.67% of the cost of the salary goes to the government. This year France has displaced Belgium, who held last year’s tax crown, with their Tax Liberation Day standing at July 27th. Belgians pay 56.9% of their salary to the government, which is a decrease from 59.47% last year. That said, as the report also points out that an increase in taxes on fuel, electricity and other essential services means that Belgians won’t see a real increase in their income.

Good news in Austria has cut its personal income tax rates in 2015, to save the country’s residents from being the most taxed in Europe, which has a huge impact on their Tax Liberation Day. Austria’s day is now July 19th, an incredible 15 days less than the year before.

In debt ridden Greece, it’s no surprise that their Tax Liberation Day has increased by 24 days since 2010. They currently stand at July 7th, having been at June 13 six years prior. With an increase in tax, and a decrease in salaries, their take home pay has dropped by 20% in the same period.

So where is the good news? Well, their are plenty of countries where living as an expat may be a bonus. Cyprus has the lowest income tax rates, at typically 1.5% of gross salary, making it the country with the lowest Tax Freedom Day. Live there and you will have paid back the tax by March 29th.

Malta (April 18), Ireland (April 30th), UK (May 9) and Bulgaria (May 19th) also top the poll. Countries such as Denmark, Luxembourg, Estonia and Spain follow close behind.

Interestingly, in euros, the report found that gross salaries ranged from 5,049€ (Bulgaria) to 54,560€ (Luxembourg). The average gross salary among the 28 states was 26,594€.

The report’s key findings across Europe included:

1. As a single economic entity, typical workers across the European Union saw their average “real tax rate” dip slightly this year, from 45.2% to 45.0%. Since 2010, this figure has risen by 1.0%, due mostly to VAT increases in 20 of the 28 states.

2. 44.4% of all payroll taxes collected in the EU countries – employer contributions to social security paid on top of gross salaries – are largely invisible to employees.

3. More than half (54.9%) of EU citizens are not in the labour force – a figure that is worsening as Europe’s population grows older : Since 2010, the proportion of Europeans outside the labour force has grown by 1 %.

Living overseas is never an easy decision but if you’re hoping to earn a good salary, it might be worth looking at the list in full to see exactly where your Tax Liberation Day may be. For a full list visit this website.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

How Will Brexit Affect Expats?

 

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Matt Brown, Polling Station

Matt Brown, Polling Station

 

With around 1.3 million Brits living in Europe, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on June 23rd is likely to have an affect on the expats living across countries such as Spain, Portugal and France. The European Union has, since its formation in 1993, afforded its current 28 member states reciprocal benefits in healthcare, employment and pensions. It allows citizens the freedom to move and work across Europe.

As Britain plans to leave the EU, currently within the next two years, there are fears that these benefits will be withdrawn, and the expats left high and dry without any rights. Some fear that once Britain leaves, expats will have to apply for temporary visas or even seek asylum in their resident country. In reality, this is unlikely to happen as no-one would benefit from such dramatic and chaotic measures. As it stands everything is in flux.

Negotiations will continue over the next 24 months, to ensure expats in countries are able to continue on living in the manner to which they’ve been accustomed.

How this all affects expats will be entirely dependent on the deal the UK Government strike with the EU. There are some major concerns, especially around employment and pensions. Some worry that they will no longer be in a position to seek out jobs across Europe. In 15 EU member states a rule exists which only allows them to hire outside the zone, if no-one else can be found.

In terms of pensions, as it stands those living within the EEA and Switzerland see their pensions protected and pegged to inflation and wage increases. Once it exits the EU Britain will have two options: to keep to this arrangement or follow the policy that exists in Canada. Those that retire to Canada see their pension frozen.

The good news is that there are viable options for the British Government. There is already within Europe, an agreement called the European Economic Area. Membership of the EEA includes countries within the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For the three not in the European Union they can still enjoy the single market. Switzerland itself is not a member of either the EU or EEA but is a member of the single market. Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work as EU and EEA nationals.

It’s not just expats who may be affected by Brexit. Every time we travel to Europe we are currently entitled to free healthcare via the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Outside the EU and EEA, Britain’s will not be allowed to access hospitals or medical care whilst on holiday.

With so little information currently available there is no way to predict the effects of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. It will be a case of sitting and waiting to see what’s negotiated. It will be an interesting and tense time.

If you are considering a move to abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.